Introspectives #11

At the end of the ‘get to know your DSLR’ course the tutor suggested I aim for greater clarity and use the tripod more often. Thus on yet another washed-out-sky day I turned my focus inward, and on to portraiture of two stems of white orchids. Between fading-fast and on-the-turn, their exquisite sculpted forms still made engaging subjects.

Using daylight from the window as back illumination:-

very ordinary  but pushing the close-up focus on the 14-140mm lens
very ordinary shot but pushing the boundaries of close-up focus on the 14-140mm lens

I moved the orchids further into the room, illuminated by a side light and altered the white balance for different effects:

blue wavelengths (higher Kelvin) to blend blooms with the container
lowering the kelvin for a warmer colour cast that unites the backs of the orchids with the top of the container
white tones bring out the purity of the blooms even as they age and wither

And then without the distraction of colour, I focused on light and shade

overexposure with ISO too high but it complements the ethereal quality of the blooms
more balanced exposure but a flat image (and again there is burn on the lower left from the sidelight)
Using the flash as additional light, surprised me with the detail that emerged and obvious depth of shadows

But one has to be careful about not giving too much detail especially in portraits of older subjects so here I blocked some of the flash with my hand:

“you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. ” James 4:14

Instead of rushing around clicking with my camera, I learnt to sit as still as the portrait subjects, and after many shots and experimentation learnt a great deal more about photography.

This series is thinking out loud as I aim to improve and learn more of photography. The images are not necessarily for show – please feel free to add feedback.